McKenna on KIRO: Send a GIF, get indicted for assault

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about a bizarre case out of Texas in which a Twitter user allegedly intentionally sent a flashing GIF image to a Newsweek reporter, a known epileptic, causing a seizure. A grand jury in Dallas indicted the Maryland man on an aggravated assault charge. Dave Ross: “And now the person […]

“Pure politics” charge against Rossi’s bill doesn’t make much sense

If you read Smarter Government Washington, you know I think the way state government bargains with state employees is terribly flawed. It concentrates too much power in the governor’s hands. It cuts legislators out of the process, even though employee salaries are one of the biggest items the state funds. After the package is negotiated […]

Mighty big assumptions that capital gains income tax would be offset

Ostensibly, lawmakers in Olympia are arguing over education funding. The debate over how to finally and fully fund the state’s McCleary obligations is seemingly about schools. In reality, education funding is where legislators have the most agreement, broadly speaking. They might be arguing about the how, but they’re not far apart about the how much. […]

The seemingly impossible task of reducing government red tape

Like kudzu – or, around here, Himalayan blackberry – it is the nature of the Regulatory State to expand, rapidly. It justifies itself by proliferating new regulations, and by expanding into new areas. One of the top concerns cited by businesses seeking to grow is the ever-rising number of rules and regulations to follow, and […]

People, small businesses under gov’t glare deserve to know their rights

Most of our interactions with government are like stopping by the local DOL office to renew your license: pretty mundane, and it’ll probably take longer than you’d like. If you or a business of yours has ever been the subject of an investigation or enforcement action, however, you know how stressful it can be to […]

McKenna on KIRO: Everett suing OxyContin maker over opioid crisis

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about the City of Everett’s new lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. In announcing the lawsuit, Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson said, “There is clear evidence that Purdue ignored their responsibility to stop the diversion of OxyContin into the black market, directly leading to the heroin crisis […]

Never-give-up income taxers hope Sup. Court grants their most cherished wish

Washington Democrats’ desire for a state income tax is relentless. The national party symbol is the donkey, but perhaps Rick Astley is a more suitable inspiration for local Dems – they’re never gonna give up on a state income tax. As long as Washington remains one of nine states without an income tax, state Democrats […]

Two years later, port strife still hurting Washington farms, businesses

We all value dependability, and not just in friends and Oldsmobiles. Buyers of Washington’s exports value local firms’ supply chain consistency, but that reputation took a hit during the port slowdown of 2014-15. Trucks and barges backed up, product rotted, and overseas customers had to look elsewhere for goods that before had been reliably supplied […]

McKenna on KIRO: Can sex offenders be barred from Facebook?

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about a case out of North Carolina, where a registered sex offender was caught using Facebook. North Carolina bars sex offenders from using social media sites that children can join, a law that some are challenging as too sweeping. The case landed before the U.S. Supreme Court on […]

“After-the-fact” fix emblematic of collective bargaining problems

Lobbyists for state employee unions testified in Olympia recently in favor of HB 1521 and HB 1434, two innocuous-sounding bills regarding employee benefits. But with some ambiguous hem-and-haw language in their testimony, the labor lobbyists glossed over a key fact: the benefits the two bills would grant were already bargained into being by their unions […]